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Messi is best player in the world, says Robben

14 January 2009 18:20

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid striker Arjen Robben claimed Lionel Messi of arch-rivals Barcelona was the best player in the world two days after Cristiano Ronaldo won the 2008 FIFA Player of the Year award.

"For me, Messi is the best player in the world. What more can I say? I think he is in incredible form, he's on another planet, he's the best, he's different," said Robben, who joined Real from Chelsea on a five-year contract in August 2007.

Messi, 20, came in second place behind Manchester United's 23-year-old Portuguese winger in the awards ceremony in Switzerland on Monday.

Spain's sports media has been engaged in a fierce debate in recent days over who is the best player in the Spanish league -- Messi or Robben.

The 23-year-old Dutch player was the top scorer in the Primera Liga last season but a muscle injury kept him off the pitch during much of the first half of this season.

But he has shined in recent matches. He was responsible for a solo goal during Real's 1-0 home win over Villarreal on January 4 that helped the club close their gap on runaway leaders Barcelona to 12 points.

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Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +29 34
2 11 +19 27
3 12 +13 24
4 12 +10 24
5 12 +2 22
6 11 +7 20
7 12 +3 18
8 11 +1 17
9 12 -2 17
10 12 +5 16
11 12 -3 16
12 12 +4 14
13 11 -4 13
14 11 -3 12
15 11 -4 11
16 11 -7 11
17 11 -19 8
18 12 -14 6
19 11 -20 6
20 11 -17 4

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